C Managing a Training Budget Includes Demonstrating Its Value ONTENTS

January 20, 2007
Case Study....................3
• ‘Employee-Responsive’
Approach Wins Award for
From the
Courthouse ..................4
• Former Employees Sue for
Back Pay, Benefits Under
The HR
• Call for Adoption Benefits
Survey Participants
• Skilled Leadership Can
Be Cultivated
Tips & Tactics ..............6
• Relationship, Human
Interaction Drive Productivity,
Says Survey
• SHRM and DOL Partner in
Employment Initiative
Case Study....................7
• Home-Grown HRMS Boosts
Efficiency, Productivity,
Savings for QUALCOMM
HR Tool Box ..................8
• MP3 Players in the Workplace
Issue 829
Managing a Training Budget
Includes Demonstrating Its Value
Human Resources departments that
effectively manage their training budgets
and demonstrate the value of training
are more likely to secure their requested
funding, says Jean Barbazette, author of
three books in “The Skilled Trainer
Series” (Pfieffer).
“In managing a training budget, there
are a couple of important things to keep
in mind,” advises Barbazette, who is
also president of The Training Clinic
(www.thetrainingclinic.com). “You need
to keep track of training expenditures.
That’s the easy part. The more difficult
part is cost-justifying training projects.”
Tracking Training Expenditures
When tracking training expenses, she
says it is “critical” to collect two types
of information:
1. Direct expenses for each course
(e.g., costs for instructor, fringe
benefits, travel for participants,
training materials, classroom use,
audiovisual aids, food)
2. Indirect expenses (e.g., general
administration, administrative support,
postage, shipping, phone, printed
materials—annual expenses that
should be divided evenly among the
total number of courses offered)
Once those expenses have been identified, a training cost framework can be
created for each training course, she
says. In addition to the direct and indirect expenses, this framework should
take into account the number of learners
and the length of training to determine
the program cost per participant and the
cost per participant per hour.
(continued on page 2)
How to Successfully Lead Diverse Teams
Many business leaders and professionals
agree that diversity drives innovation,
says Frans Johansson, a recognized
thought leader and consultant specializing in business innovation and author
of The Medici Effect: What Elephants
& Epidemics Can Teach Us About
Innovation. “Bringing different perspectives together is the best way of encouraging groundbreaking ideas. People
coming together from different business
units, from industries outside the
company, people with diversity in terms
of culture, nationality, and even gender
can be put together in a team.”
However, just because your people with
differences are grouped together doesn’t
mean that you will reach your goal of
creative problem-solving, developing
© 2007 Business & Legal Reports, Inc. #31503010 (#829)
unique solutions, or brainstorming new
Diverse teams are often more difficult
to lead than homogenous ones,
comments Johansson. Team members
may approach problem-solving differently because of both their personal
backgrounds and upbringing and their
past work experience.
Johansson points out that while diverse
teams may be unique, they have similar
obstacles to overcome and common
rules that apply to them. For example,
Johansson says that the average Swede
has a different way of expressing
himself than an American. “He may
wait to share ideas until asked, while
(continued on page 2)
Budget (continued from page 1)
Cost-Justifying Training
After training expenses have been
identified, a cost-benefit analysis
can be performed to demonstrate
the benefit of training and justify
the company’s investment in it.
Barbazette says there are three types
of analyses: cost efficiency, cost
effectiveness, and productivity
For example, HR can identify how
long it takes employees to perform a
certain task before training and how
much more quickly they perform it
after training, she explains. In addition, HR can look at the amount of
revenue generated by a group of
learners before training and compare
Teams (continued from page 1)
most Americans volunteer and speak
up about their ideas when they have
them.” A team leader of a diverse
team would have to watch for
different cultural behaviors and
elicit discussion from everyone, he
explains. Otherwise, some ideas
might not be presented at all in the
In general, it might take longer to get
things going in a diverse team, but the
forthcoming ideas will probably be
more creative. To start a diverse team
on the right track, the leader must
instill respect within the team for other
people’s ideas. This is particularly
important when team members are
working with people that they haven’t
worked with before, notes Johansson.
Developing Trust
Among Team Members
Developing trust among team
members is also critical. At the heart
of innovation is the notion of being
able to suggest ideas that may not be
immediately and obviously useful,
so team members must trust that
that with the amount they generate
after training.
By comparing the total cost of
training to the benefit, HR can determine the company’s net savings.
Return on investment can then be
calculated by dividing the net
savings by the cost, Barbazette says.
HR can also identify the benefit-tocost ratio by dividing the benefit by
the total cost. “Demonstrating the
benefits will help you maintain and
expand your budget.”
For example, she cites a public
utility company that was able to save
nearly $160,000 by offering a certification workshop for its instructors
three times a year instead of twice a
year. Although the cost per participant increased, the company saved
their idea will be heard and
accepted, he explains. Unfortunately,
there is not one exercise or one
activity that is universally the best
for creating team trust.
Johansson suggests that a team
outing or even a brainstorming
session may help people get to know
one another but every work culture
can use the methods that it prefers.
He also stresses that keeping the
focus on the ideas instead of the
people is an important, but often
difficult, thing to accomplish. When
some people have been working
together for 5 years and some others
for only a few weeks, it is hard not
to focus more on the ideas from the
people that you know, he says.
Johansson suggests that using
ideation software can help so
that people share their ideas in
the same virtual space, and the
ideas are not attached to specific
people. Teams in the same physical
location can use the same types
of software or services used by
teams that must interact virtually
through the Internet.
$159,984 per year because instructors were certified earlier and, as a
result, placed in the classroom
earlier. For every additional dollar
the company spent on training, it
saved $69.56, says Barbazette.
“Not demonstrating the benefits and
the results of training is the biggest
mistake many training managers
make,” Barbazette says. It’s not
enough to simply report how many
people attended training and how
worthwhile they thought it was; it’s
more important to also show how
training changed employee behavior
and what financial results can be
attributed to that, she says. “Relating
it to the bottom-line results is really
what the rest of the organization
wants to hear about.”
Another important tool for diverse
teams is creating a list of terms and
their definitions, explains Johansson.
This glossary of terminology
increases understanding and helps to
create a level playing field for all
team members.
The more preparation and effort
taken in developing a trusting and
collaborative environment for diverse
teams, the more successful the team
experience will prove to be for the
leader and for the participants.
For more information about
Johansson and his book, visit
Join the
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Go to BLR’s new HR Forum at
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© 2007 Business & Legal Reports, Inc. #31503010 (#829)
‘Employee-Responsive’ Approach
Wins Award for SEPTA
Some corporations and nonprofit entities pay little more than lip service
to the notion that their employees are
their most valued organizational asset,
but the Southeastern Pennsylvania
Transportation Authority (SEPTA) is
not one of them. SEPTA, the fifth
largest public transportation system in
the United States with 9,000
employees, providing transportation to
a five-county area through bus, subway,
commuter rail, trolley, and trackless
trolley vehicles, counts on its
employees to keep its customers on
time and safe and, in return, provides
excellent career growth opportunities
and employee benefits and services.
future efforts in building high-performance teams, encouraging employee
career growth, and meeting succession
planning needs.
Career Development,
Ongoing Education
SEPTA has a philosophy of promoting
from within, and HR provides employees with the tools to help them reach
higher career goals. In the area of
employee development, SEPTA uses a
combination of training, management
development, and tuition reimbursement
for higher education as the means to
engage employees in the practice of
lifelong learning.
SEPTA was recently named recipient
of a “Special Recognition” Award for
the organization’s efforts in acknowledging its workforce as its most
valuable asset in the 2006 Greater
Philadelphia/Delaware Valley Human
Resources Department of the Year
Award competition. The Rosen Group
presented the award.
Last year HR provided more than 4,000
days of training for approximately 2,200
employees in courses to help employees
sharpen their computer software,
customer service, and other skills, as
well as supervision and management
training. SEPTA’s chief executive officer
even engaged in some of the employee
and management development sessions.
Susan Van Buren, assistant general
manager, says, “The entire SEPTA HR
team is excited and thrilled to have been
spotlighted for all its hard work in our
attempts to gain excellence in our
customer service approach to our
employees. My team has worked hard
to represent SEPTA as a quality quasigovernmental transit employer.”
SEPTA has also put into place a twophase, computer-based training initiative. The initiative has eliminated lost
work time because travel is not required
of employees who need to complete
such training programs as multimodel
rail track safety and Health Insurance
Portability and Accountability Act
(HIPAA) recertification. SEPTA HR
continues to expand computer-based
training for the future in areas such as
biohazards and other commonly
required training programs for large
numbers of staff.
In an effort to enhance performance and
improve the quality of its services and
internal communications, beginning in
April 2004, the HR Division undertook
an analysis of the department’s processes
with the help of an outside consultant.
The process included participation from
the senior leadership team and department managers and employees from
many cross-sections of the organization.
The feedback provided the catalyst for
changes in the HR division’s processes,
organizational structure, and some functions that would allow HR to become a
more employee-responsive, interactive,
and strategically driven organization.
Feedback from stakeholders and the
analysis of team member strengths
and skills also helped SEPTA’s HR
function to determine where to focus
© 2007 Business & Legal Reports, Inc. #31503010 (#829)
To encourage employees to continue their
education outside SEPTA, the organization holds an annual Lifelong Learning
Fair. The event provides the opportunity
for employees to talk with representatives
from surrounding colleges, universities,
and technical schools and to discuss their
education needs that will support their
continued career growth. SEPTA also
hosts an information portal through its
employee website addressing tuition
assistance benefits, schedules for free
computer classes, and resources regarding
higher education for employees and for
their children.
Southeastern Pennsylvania
Transportation Authority
(SEPTA), Philadelphia, PA
With input from department
managers and stakeholders,
HR revamped systems,
services, and employee
development programs.
Results: SEPTA received a “Special
Recognition” award in the
2006 Greater Philadelphia/
Delaware Valley Human
Resources Department of
the Year competition.
SEPTA employees can also acquire 12
college credits through internal classes
offered within SEPTA’s training program.
The credits, which received accreditation
through the American Council on
Education, will be applicable as an elective or core requirement course in approximately 90 percent of the college education programs that are approved within
the tuition assistance program. SEPTA
saves approximately $3,006 per participating employee in the tuition assistance
program through these internal classes.
As SEPTA strives to promote from
within, the HR function fills entrylevel employment positions by
reaching out through community
job fairs, participating on curriculum
advisory boards of six technical schools,
and mentoring high school students.
Partnering with the Philadelphia School
District, SEPTA trains high school
students by providing a shadowing or
internship opportunity to students interested in future maintenance and mechanical positions with the organization.
SEPTA Sets Example
To Follow
In a time in which specialized or
experienced job market candidates
are becoming increasingly difficult to
recruit, SEPTA’s model of employee
development provides a cost-effective
example for other employers and HR
professionals to follow. To ensure
job candidates for entry-level opportunities, SEPTA’s model illustrates that
a partnership with local high schools,
technical schools, and colleges is a
good solution to try.
From the Courthouse
Former Employees Sue for Back Pay,
Benefits Under WARN Act
When a series of small layoffs takes
place in a company, is the employer
obligated to provide advance notice
to employees? That is a question an
appeals court recently had to tackle.
What happened. Financial Fusion,
Inc. (FFI), a software company that
specializes in retail banking and
capital markets software, was in
dire financial straits. During the
third quarter of 2001, FFI canceled
production of a new product and
focused on a project scheduled for
release on September 24, 2001.
On September 7, 2001, it laid off
four employees at its Orem, Utah,
facility without advance notice. The
employees received a severance
package after signing a release form,
waiving claims against FFI and its
parent company, Sybase, Inc.
A district court awarded back pay
and benefits, costs, and reasonable
attorney fees to the former employees.
The companies appealed to the U.S.
Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit,
which includes Colorado, Kansas,
New Mexico, Oklahoma, Utah, and
What the court said. The appeals
court affirmed in part, reversed in part,
and remanded the case for further
proceedings. Even excluding the layoff
of six employees due to IT restructuring, the companies still laid off
50 individuals between September 7
and October 31, 2001, the court said.
By signing the release form, the
terminated employees did not waive
their rights to sue because language
in the form “only implicates claims
made in the future, rather than claims
that arise in the future” [emphasis
Four days after meeting the September added], the court said, noting that the
24 deadline and about 2 weeks after
mass layoff didn’t occur until
the September 11 terrorist attacks,
October 31—when the total number
FFI terminated 41 employees without of terminated employees reached 50.
advance notice. They received a severance package in exchange for signing The court said the companies did not
prove that the September 11 attacks
a release form.
prompted the September 28 layoff.
On October 31, 2001, FFI eliminated
six information technology (IT) posi- Citing conflicting evidence about
whether the companies were planning
tions at the Orem site as part of a
the October 31 layoff, the court
companywide IT restructuring and
reversed the district court’s decision
consolidation plan. FFI also cut five
regarding whether the terminated
more positions there to reduce its
fourth-quarter expenses.
Since FFI had terminated more than
50 employees at the Orem facility
within 90 days, it provided the last
11 terminated employees with 60
days’ pay and benefits in an effort to
meet its obligations under the Worker
Adjustment and Retraining
Notification Act (WARN Act).
Twenty-six of the previously terminated employees filed suit against
FFI and Sybase, arguing that they,
too, were entitled to 60 days’ back
pay and benefits, since they were
terminated as part of a mass layoff
without the required 60 days’ notice.
Worker Adjustment and
Retraining Act (WARN Act)
Employers must comply with the
WARN Act if they have 100 or
more full-time employees or
have 100 or more employees
who regularly work a total of
4,000 nonovertime hours per
week. Covered employers must
give affected employees 60 days’
notice of a “mass layoff” or a
“plant closing” that is expected
to last 6 months or longer.
A mass layoff is defined as any
reduction in force that involves an
“employment loss” at a single site
of employment that involves, within
a 30-day period, either (a) at least
50 employees and 33 percent of the
workforce (excluding part-time
employees) or (b) 500 or more
employees regardless of the
percentage involved.
When all employees are not terminated on the same day, the date of
the first individual termination
within the applicable 30-day or
90-day period triggers the notice
requirements. The first and each
subsequent group of terminees are
entitled to a full 60 days’ notice.
workers were “affected” employees
and remanded the case for further
proceedings (Allen, et al., v. Sybase,
Inc., and Financial Fusion, No. 044045, U.S. Court of Appeals, 10th
Cir., 10/25/06).
• Understand your obligations.
Familiarize yourself with your legal
obligations under the WARN Act.
• Provide as much notice as
possible. Even if your company
qualifies for an exemption under the
WARN Act, you must give as much
notice as possible, along with a brief
statement of why the notification
period has been reduced.
• Document reasons for layoffs.
In this case, the companies argued
that the September 28 layoff was
due to “unforeseen business
circumstances” associated with the
September 11 attacks. However, the
only evidence to support that argument was a statement from FFI’s
HR director about a conversation
he had with an unnamed Sybase
executive and HR employee about
how the attacks would likely
impact FFI’s customers and,
ultimately, the business.
© 2007 Business & Legal Reports, Inc. #31503010 (#829)
family friendly, and another to say,
here’s the evidence.”
Rita Soronen, executive director of
DTFA, says “Of the Working Mother
The Dave Thomas Foundation for
own policies against those of their
peer organizations in the same indus- magazine’s 2006 list of top 100 comAdoption (DTFA) is seeking infortry, as well as organizations in other panies, 91 offer financial assistance for
mation regarding what companies
adoption, and 73 offer paid leave. And
may be doing to assist their employ- industries.
in an annual survey conducted by
ees who are considering adoption.
To participate in the survey, visit www Hewitt Associates, of the 100 major
“We want people to contact us,
.davethomasfoundationforadoption.org/ U.S. employers, those that offered
through an online survey or by
afw/employer_benefit_survey.asp or
financial adoption benefits rose from
calling us, and let us know what their call Boerio at 800-ASK-DTFA.”
12 percent in 1990 to 41 percent in
adoptions benefits are,” says Carrie
Boerio points out that when compa2005. So clearly what we’re seeing is
Boerio, adoption-friendly workplace
nies provide adoption benefits, the
that once companies realize that
project manager. “Even if a company financial impact may not be
isn’t offering paid leaves or financial extremely high, but the benefit keeps this is something of benefit to their
employees, they’re very quick to put it
reimbursement, we want to know
employers competitive with other
in their menu of benefits.”
what they’re doing so we can concompanies. “It’s important for HR
tinue to compile what we believe
Dave Thomas, the founder of Wendy’s,
managers to realize that utilization
will be the most comprehensive list
rates are very low for adoption bene- who was an adopted child, created
of employers that offer adoption ben- fits. People support their peers having DTFA. He added adoption benefits to
efits in the nation.”
the package provided for Wendy’s
adoption benefits, but the utilization
rates are way under 1 percent. It’s not employees and started the foundation
DTFA maintains benchmarking
expensive, and it’s great for recruitto encourage other employers to do the
information about adoption benefits
same, notes Soronen.
so that companies can measure their ing. It’s one thing to say you’re
Call for Adoption Benefits
Survey Participants
Skilled Leadership Can Be Cultivated
Great leaders are developed, not born,
and HR executives play an important
role in gaining support from and
participation in that development
hypothesis from their organization’s
senior leadership.
Antony Bell, leadership coach and
author of Great Leadership: What It Is
and What It Takes in a Complex World
(Harvard Business School Press), says
that disastrous delegation occurs when
leadership training is relegated to
training professionals without clear
direction, support, and buy-in from the
CEO and other senior management.
“Trainers should not develop programming in a vacuum,” explains Bell.
“The CEO must own and champion
the process.”
When senior leaders abdicate their
responsibilities in taking ownership
regarding the importance of leadership
development training, it marginalizes
the efforts of the HR executives and
training professionals, he says. When a
chief executive officer takes the lead
and partners with HR executives to
© 2007 Business & Legal Reports, Inc. #31503010 (#829)
implement leadership development
training, senior and middle management recognize its importance and take
their own participation seriously.
Leadership development is not only
important for current managers and
senior managers but also for succession
planning, says Bell. Filling the pipeline
with good leaders is part of HR executives’ and corporate leaders’ roles.
The Three Leadership
Leadership consists of three different yet
equally important dimensions that must
be integrated to form a well-led organization and should be addressed in
leadership development training, says
Bell. He describes the functions of each
dimension of leadership:
1. Organizational leadership—
selling and promoting the message
of the direction
2. Operational leadership—planning
and shaping processes, organizing
and controlling, and measuring and
3. People leadership—selecting and
matching the right people, explaining and clarifying expectations, and
motivating and developing
When putting together the components
of your leadership development
program, work with senior leaders and
managers to identify where their
strengths lie, as well as their opportunities for development in areas related
to the functions depicted above.
In addition to reading his book that
integrates the key dimensions of
strong leadership into a framework,
Bell suggests other helpful books
on leadership with which you may
already be familiar, including Good
to Great: Why Some Companies
Make the Leap ... and Others Don’t
and Built to Last: Successful Habits
of Visionary Companies, by Jim
Collins, and First, Break All the
Rules: What the World’s Greatest
Managers Do Differently by Marcus
Buckingham and Curt Coffman.
For more information about Bell
and his book, visit www.leader
Tips & Tactics
Relationships, Human Interaction
Drive Productivity, Says Survey
As work becomes increasingly technology driven, and in-person human
interaction becomes less necessary, it’s
interesting that 87 percent of employees report that they are most productive
in their work when surrounded by colleagues with whom they have good
relationships. This finding came from a
fall 2006 survey of 1,919 full-time or
part-time professional employees
working at least 20 hours per week
conducted by SelectMinds, a company
that provides corporate social networking solutions.
Seventy percent of the employees also
said that social aspects of work are very
important for them to feel satisfied with
the workplace. Eighty-three percent said
that trusted relationships with coworkers and suppliers are critical
reasons for joining and staying with an
employer. Not surprisingly, employees
without positive relationships with colleagues are more likely to leave their
employment. One in four employees
reported leaving a job in the past
because of feelings of isolation, and
another 16 percent said they left because
of weak relationships with co-workers.
More than one-third of the respondents
said that establishing relationships with
colleagues and supervisors and adapting to a new company culture were
their top challenges when joining a
new company. Learning new job
responsibilities came in at third place
at 29 percent.
Communication also seems to be a
problem for many employees; 78
percent of those surveyed reported
feeling very or somewhat disconnected
from the information flow, office politics, and career opportunities in
departments other than their own.
Close to half (42 percent) of the
respondents said that when trying to
find an answer to a work-related question quickly, they are much more likely
to ask an experienced co-worker or
friend than check the organization’s
knowledge management system (only
9 percent chose the system first).
Sixty-three percent of the respondents
said that the quality of information that
they receive from personal contacts is
usually superior to that of information
they get elsewhere.
SHRM and DOL Partner in
Employment Initiative
The U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL)
Office of Disability Employment Policy
(ODEP) and the Society for Human
Resource Management (SHRM) developed an alliance during late 2006 to
encourage and better promote the
employment of people with disabilities.
“This alliance formalizes the relationship we have had with SHRM,
benefiting SHRM as it serves its membership with the resources ODEP brings
to the table and offering ODEP the
opportunity for broader contact with
human resource professionals,” said
Roy Grizzard, assistant secretary of
labor for disability employment policy.
The new relationship between SHRM
and ODEP will target areas in training
and education, outreach and communication, and technical assistance, as well
as provide more opportunities for feedback from HR professionals.
“In today’s information age, there’s a
tendency to overlook the critical role
that human relationships play in the
way in which work gets done,” notes
Anne Berkowitch, SelectMinds CEO.
“Employees turn to their networks of
colleagues for technical information,
competitive intelligence, business
leads, and even emotional support. As
businesses begin to exhaust gains from
processes and information technology,
their next big productivity frontier is
people and the complex networks of
information and relationships at their
disposal,” she says.
So as you plan your HR initiatives
for 2007 and beyond, don’t forget
the importance of human interaction
and communication and their influence on employees feeling valued
and dedicated to the overall organizational goals. Even when workers
are happy with their department’s
function and interaction, they can
still feel separated from the organization as a whole.
That’s why employee websites, blogs,
traditional and electronic employee
newsletters, and regular face-to-face
interactions with your organization’s
leadership may make the difference
between employees staying with your
company for the long term and leaving
after a year or two of employment.
For more information aboutSelectMinds
and the survey results, visit the News
section of www.selectminds.com.
houses helpful information that you
may access as you develop and/or
expand your recruitment strategies to
reach this largely untapped resource of
talent by many organizations.
The partnership will also provide
recruitment, hiring, and advancement
information through various educational, access, and research activities,
according to a statement from SHRM.
In the meantime, read some of the
many articles that can be found on the
ODEP website, such as “Recruiting
Disabled Veterans: A Primer,” and
“Strategic Connections: Recruiting
Candidates with Disabilities and
Workforce Recruitment Program for
College Students with Disabilities.”
Stay posted during 2007 as this alliance
begins to provide expanded services to
HR professionals. In the meantime, the
ODEP website (www.dol.gov/odep)
There are also numerous fact sheets
and statistics regarding employment of
individuals with disabilities and links
to research that you may access.
© 2007 Business & Legal Reports, Inc. #31503010 (#829)
Home-Grown HRMS Boosts Efficiency,
Productivity, Savings for QUALCOMM
Designing an in-house human resource
management system isn’t for everyone,
but QUALCOMM Incorporated was up
for the challenge.
The wireless communications
company had implemented an enterprise resource planning (ERP)-based
HR system in 1998. The following
year, however, QUALCOMM
(www.qualcomm.com) wanted to shift
to a Web-based application and offer
manager and employee self-service
functions, according to Phil Pins,
senior manager of Human Resource
Management Systems (HRMS) for
QUALCOMM. Recent upgrades of the
ERP-based system didn’t have those
capabilities, so the company decided
to design its own system.
Getting Started
QUALCOMM wanted its HRMS to be
Web-based so that its 9,600 employees
around the world could access it
remotely at any time, Pins explained
during “Extreme Makeover: HRMS
Edition,” a recent webinar sponsored by
the International Association for
Human Resource Information
Management (www.ihrim.org).
In addition, the company wanted the
application to be highly secure, scalable, and easy to use. “One of our
requirements was no training when we
rolled out our application,” Pins says.
“We wanted the screens to look and act
the same.”
A cross-functional team was created for
the development phase, and employee
input was sought throughout the process.
Employees participated in brainstorming
sessions, reviewed page mock-ups, and
helped test the application before rollout,
according to Pins. Since deployment,
they have provided ongoing feedback.
Ready for Rollout
When the system, called MySource™,
was ready to go live in 1999, a phased
rollout plan was implemented. E-mail
notifications were sent to employees
from their respective business units
rather than from HR, Pins says. “…
[Y]ou get more buy-in when the e-mail
© 2007 Business & Legal Reports, Inc. #31503010 (#829)
is coming from the head of that business unit.”
MySource has five modules:
1. Employee Self-Service (information
on benefits, open enrollment,
compensation, training, work history,
and professional achievements)
2. Manager Self-Service (organizational
view, employee profiles, merit planning, sick/vacation leave information,
3. HR Administration (e.g., privileged
access, data maintenance, immigration tracking, training administration,
resource planning)
4. Recruiting (e.g., information on
requisitions, candidate search and
tracking, new hire authorizations,
and electronic offer letters)
5. New Hire On-boarding (e.g., personal
information, benefits enrollment,
beneficiaries, policy acknowledgments, other forms)
QUALCOMM Incorporated
Designed and implemented
its own Web-based human
resource management system
Results: Saved nearly $100,000 by
sending job offer letters
electronically instead of via
overnight delivery. Saved
$1.7 million after identifying
certain equipment and
services that employees were
no longer using.
each employee and how employees use
the equipment and related services.
In an initial audit, the company saved
$700,000 by “identifying equipment that
people no longer use and phone calling
plans that didn’t need to be as robust,”
says Morlock. The company saved
$1 million after a second audit, he says.
Lessons Learned
Companies that decide to use a thirdparty application should fully research
available products and vendors, says
Morlock. He recommends tapping
resources available from business
groups such as IHRIM.
Employees are given access only to
information that they are authorized to
see. “We can pretty well fine-tune what “Writing your own HR application is
people can and can’t access,” says Gary definitely not for everybody,” Pins says.
Companies that determine that an inMorlock, manager of HRMS.
house solution is appropriate for their
An “impersonation” feature allows HR
particular organization should consider
to impersonate other users. For example, the following advice:
authorized HR employees can complete
Look for an executive-level chama task on behalf of an employee or view •
pion. “Executive buy-in is very key,”
the same screen simultaneously to help
Pins says.
with problems or answer questions,
• Think long term. “This is not a
he explains.
process that really ends … It’s
Ninety-nine percent of users who comongoing,” he says.
pleted an employee survey are satisfied • Seek employee feedback and act
with the application, and the company
on it. When you ask employees
boasts a 99 percent uptime rate.
for feedback, make sure you are
prepared to follow up on and respond
In addition, the company has seen
to that input.
increased efficiencies, thanks to
• Consider buying third-party tools.
MySource. For example, Pins quotes
It may be appropriate to purchase
one manager who spends an estimated
third-party tools to add certain fea80 hours less during merit review cycles.
tures to the system. “There are times
In addition, the company saved nearly
when it makes sense to bring some$100,000 by sending job offer letters
thing in,” says Morlock.
electronically instead of continuing to
• Avoid “schedule pressure.” The
send the letters via overnight delivery.
application should not be rolled out
MySource also allows the company to
until it is ready, says Pins. “Don’t
track what company property, such as
meet a deadline just to say you met
phone cards and phones, are assigned to
a deadline.”
HR Tool Box
MP3 Players in the Workplace
Did many of your employees receive iPods and other MP3 players for the holidays? And
is this causing problems in your workplace?
Here are some things to consider about workplace use of these players from BLR’s
product Smart Policies:
Loss and Damage—Have you communicated to
employees that the company will not be responsible
for loss or damage to iPods and other expensive electronic equipment that is brought to work?
Downloading—Have you considered a policy
that company facilities cannot be use to record,
upload, or download music or other copyrighted
What—will any music players be allowed in
your workplace? Do you need to ban devices that
can also record music or copy electronic files?
Will you need to ban players that others can hear,
but allow players that use earbuds? Can employees use a headset that covers both ears?
Who—Can any employee use a personal music
device? Can your sales force? Can your receptionist? Can your supervisors?
Where—Are there any areas in which employees
cannot listen to music? Are employees limited to
break areas?
When—Can employees listen to music only
before work, during breaks and lunch, and after
work? Do you need to ban use of personal music
players during working hours? Can employees
who are seen by customers use them?
Safety—Have you considered what safety issues
might occur if workers cannot hear? Should
you limit employees to a single earbud or ban
employees in certain jobs from wearing earbuds?
Security—Because of the nature of your
company, should you ban iPods and other
devices that have a recording feature that can
be used to copy files and take them from the
Morale and Productivity—Will the use of
iPods and other devices isolate your workers
from one another, make communication difficult,
or lessen productivity?
Bottom Line—Communicate to workers in
your company’s newsletters or intranet sites
that abuse of the use of these devices will result
in their being banned from the workplace.
Note: This handout may be reproduced in printed form, without permission, for internal use by current subscribers.
© 2007 Business & Legal Reports, Inc. #31503010 (#829)